Athens Police…Investigation suggests May 11 altercation was road rage related

by Holly Hollman
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ATHENS-In response to multiple media inquiries regarding a May 11, 2024, altercation in Athens, Police Chief Anthony Pressnell issued a statement on Monday, May 13, that the department was investigating what appeared to be a road rage incident at Lowe’s.

Today, following more media inquiries, Pressnell provided an update on the altercation.

“Our investigation suggests road rage led to the altercation between a driver in one vehicle, and a passenger in another vehicle,” Pressnell said. “We received numerous questions from media asking about it being a politically motivated attack, which we never reported, and there is no indication that was the case.”

Pressnell added that per department procedures, neither he nor investigators discussed specifics of the case with anyone outside of those involved in the altercation. Police took statements from the women involved in the altercation and obtained video footage from Lowe’s.

Pressnell said the altercation occurred on Saturday, May 11, at about 5:50 p.m. Driver No. 1 was on a side street that parallels U.S. 72 when she allegedly ran a stop sign at the Lowe’s entrance.

Driver No. 2 was on U.S. 72 turning into the Lowe’s entrance and honked the horn and flashed the car lights at Driver No. 1. When the vehicles entered the parking lot, the drivers went in opposite directions.

Driver No. 2’s wife, a passenger in the vehicle, told police she and her husband just left a restaurant, and they stopped in the parking lot to check their vehicle because they thought they left an item or items at the restaurant.

The passenger was out of her vehicle when Driver No. 1 returned and drove up to the couple and from her vehicle window, allegedly cursed the passenger and grabbed her shirt. The passenger told police she responded by striking Driver No. 1. After the altercation, Driver No. 1 called Athens Police, and the passenger called the Sheriff’s Department.

Athens Police said neither sought medical treatment at the scene.

“The passenger said she assumed Driver Nov. 1 was coming from the walking track,” Pressnell said, referring to the Swan Creek Greenway that is at the end of the side street. “Neither woman indicated this was politically motivated.”

At this time, neither party has pursued charges, and Athens Police consider the case closed.

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